Compassion

“What Have You Done?” | My Journey

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When God found Adam and Eve hiding in the Garden of Eden, He asked Eve, “What have you done?” That’s a good question for all of us to consider. But even more important is what God has done!

Scripture:       

Genesis, chapters 3-5; Luke, chapter 2

Genesis 3:1-13 (CEB):

The snake was the most intelligent of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?”  The woman said to the snake, “We may eat the fruit of the garden’s trees but not the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘Don’t eat from it, and don’t touch it, or you will die.’”

The snake said to the woman, “You won’t die! God knows that on the day you eat from it, you will see clearly and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The woman saw that the tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would provide wisdom, so she took some of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then they both saw clearly and knew that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made garments for themselves.

During that day’s cool evening breeze, they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden; and the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God in the middle of the garden’s trees. The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” The man replied, “I heard your sound in the garden; I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 

What Have You Done?!”

He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree, which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”

The Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?!”  And the woman said, “The snake tricked me, and I ate.”

Observations:

What have you done?

While the question itself is neutral, the context tells us whether “what was done” was something incredibly good, or unfathomably bad.  Here, of course, it was bad. When God confronted Adam about his disobedience, Adam blamed Eve – and God.  “The woman you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”  Adam tried to shift the focus to Eve, but the key phrase comes at the end – and I ate.  As we saw yesterday, in Genesis 2:17, God said, “don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because on the day you eat from it, you will die!” God didn’t say, “Don’t pick the fruit.” The command was not, “don’t touch the tree” (contrary to what Eve says in verse 3). Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God then addresses Eve: What have you done? We need to remember: God knew what she had done. God wasn’t looking for a report; he was looking for a reason. Eve knew that they weren’t supposed to eat from that tree. God supplied them with everything that they needed. They lived in a paradise called the Garden of Eden! Why in the world would they throw that away by disobeying God? What have you done?

The Crafty Serpent

Verse 1 in the CEB text says that the serpent was “intelligent.” “Intelligent” is a word that generally has a positive connotation in English. Dictionary.com defines “intelligent” this way: “Having good understanding or a high mental capacity; quick to comprehend, as persons or animals; displaying or characterized by quickness of understanding, sound thought, or good judgment.” That sounds positive, right? That’s why calling the serpent “intelligent” in verse 1 caught my attention.

The Hebrew word rendered “intelligent” in verse 1 is ‘arum, which means: “crafty, shrewd, sensible. This adjective can have either a positive or negative connotation. In a positive connotation, it is understood as being prudent…When the word has a negative meaning, in means being crafty. This word is used when the Bible describes the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The serpent was more subtle [crafty] than any beast of the field (Genesis 3:1). This description is presented in stark contrast to the situation of Adam and Eve. They sought to be crafty like the serpent, but they only realized that they were ‘eyrom, meaning naked.” (Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament).

What Have You Done? He Tricked Me!

The serpent’s craftiness is on display when he deceives Eve (or “tricks” her, see verse 13) into eating the fruit. First, he distorts God’s command: “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?” No, that’s not what God said; He said, “Don’t eat from that tree.”  Next, the serpent seizes on Eve’s response: “You won’t die! God knows that on the day you eat from eat, you will see clearly and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Contrast the serpent’s “intelligence” or “craftiness” with Eve. First, she misstated God’s command; God never said, “Don’t touch the tree” (as far as Scripture reveals). Second, verse 6 says, “The woman saw that the tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would provide wisdom” She didn’t “see” that the tree was beautiful with delicious food, because she had no idea whether the food was “delicious” or not. It may have looked delicious, but she wouldn’t know that. I’ve seen a lot of food that looked delicious, but was not!

Eve’s other error was in thinking that the tree would provide wisdom. “Wisdom” not the same as “knowledge.” It wasn’t “the tree of wisdom”; it was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Basically, Eve believed the serpent’s lie that “you will be like God.” And that is the heart of sin: trying to be God. The serpent tricked Eve (and Adam, because he was with her, verse 6) into thinking that she could be like God. And Satan has no new tricks; that’s the same like he uses with people today.

Application – What Have You Done?

In verse 1, the CEB has a footnote for the word “intelligent” which says: “Hebrew sounds like naked.” That’s an interesting wordplay. The snake was ‘arum – “crafty, intelligent.”  Adam and Eve tried to be ‘arum, but they ended up ‘eyrom – naked. Whenever we try to substitute our judgment for God’s, our presumption is stripped away, and we wind up naked.

As I reflected on this, God brought another passage to mind: “After all, you say, ‘I’m rich, and I’ve grown wealthy, and I don’t need a thing.’ You don’t realize that you are miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17, CEB). The church at Laodicea tried to be “intelligent,” but Jesus stripped them of the things in which they trusted.

What have you done? Every one of us needs to answer that question to God; not because God doesn’t know, but because admitting what we have done is the first step to embracing what God has done.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for reminding us that the enemy of our souls seeks to trick us into substituting our judgment for Yours. Thank You for your unfailing love, and Your mercies which are new every morning. What’s important is not so much what we have done, but what You have done!  Help us to know and to do Your will today.  Amen.

 





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Written by: OchriO

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